WA News

WA fires: Burnt horses transferred to Murdoch Veterinary Hospital

Five horses badly burned in the South West bushfires were transferred to the Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital on Tuesday for further specialised treatment.

The injured animals, with burns to their heads, legs and bodies, received first response care from vets at Murray Veterinary Services in Coolup, about 25 kilometres west of Waroona.

The intensity of their ongoing treatment, however, needs meant the major vet hospital in Perth's southern suburbs was the best care option.

MVS head vet Ross Wallace said the injured horses had mainly received second degree burns with some at the milder end of third degree.

"The challenge is the extensive areas of affected tissues that many of the horses have suffered," he said.

"The nature of burns is that what you see now can also get a lot worse before it gets better."

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Doctor Wallace said that eight of the injured horses were caught at Logues Brook Dam at Cookernup while the other two were cornered on the scarp behind Yarloop.

The equine specialist said they had decided to share the workload with Murdoch because of the treatment needs.

"These wounds need to be cleaned and dressed every day; there's a tremendous amount of ongoing care required," he said

MVS has four full-time vets and five nurses who operate out of a purpose-built equine hospital and offer a wide range of horse-related services.

Doctor Wallace believed the prognosis for most of the horses was good with a couple requiring close ongoing observation.

"It's going to be a long recovery for all of them," he said.

The horses were assessed by the Murdoch hospital's equine specialists after their 100 kilometre road trip.

The veterinary hospital has been approached for comment on the horses' treatment schedule.

Murdoch nurse manager Yvonne Markey said the hospital was also available to see other animals affected by the bushfires either from the public or affected clinics that might need support.

"People concerned about the animal victims of the bushfires in Western Australia's south west can also donate supplies and items to the hospital," she said.

"Veterinary clinics are welcome to donate veterinary supplies and the public can donate general items, like pet food, bedding and blankets."

Items needed include:

  • Medications used for burns treatment and wound management – Flamazine, gauze, wrap and bandaging material, IV fluids, Viscotears, sorbolene cream, sterile saline
  • Chux wipes and alcohol rub handwash, hand wipes
  • Scissors, tape, marker pens, temporary identification tags
  • Towels, bedding, blankets, horse coats/blankets, newspapers
  • Pet carriers/ cat cages and plastic tubs for relocation of wildlife
  • Honey, bottled water and water bottles for guinea pigs and rabbits
  • Food for animals including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, horses
  • Bowls – plastic or metal, large containers for food and water
  • Kitty litter trays and kitty litter
  • Dog leads and harnesses, horse harnesses/halters and lead ropes
  • Hay nets, fly nets
  • Dog and cat toys

Monetary donations should be directed to the Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund here.

Meanwhile, the RSPCA WA chief inspector Amanda Swift and her support team of inspectors are in location in bushfire-affected areas.

"We urge anyone who requires assistance with companion and equine animals to contact us," she said.

If you have sighted any stray or wandering animals, contact the RSPCA WA on 1300 278 3589.

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